Last CO trip I did with my cousin and sister, we got into DIA at ~9pm. We were going to steamboat. I was up at 5am to work.
Upon getting to DIA, some guy grabbed my bag thinking it was his, luckily he had a phone number on his bag, but was on his way to the car rental place. by 10pm we were at avis, and argued over getting an SUV, ended up with a ford flex. Got on I70 ~10:30, by the time we were out of Denver it was really coming down.
Getting off on the steamboat access, and it was nearly a whiteout. I stayed in between the white road markers all the way into steamboat, because the road was 100% snow covered. ~10 miles out of steamboat nearly ran into a moose or elk, something huge in the middle of the road. I think we pulled into the hotel ~3:30, 4:00. After being up for 24hrs (due to time zone changed) we crashed.
rode the mountain at 11am the next morning with some nice soft cover.
Point of the story? if you want to ski/ride, you'll do whatever it takes.
Or the point could be:
1- just fly into Hayden dammit!
2- rent the SUV dammit!
3- You could have stayed in beautiful downtown Kremmeling
4- You could have hit that large animal on the pass and proved the existence of Yeti.